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 Post subject: Waddling head creature
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:03 pm 
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A lot of low-level enemies in 8-bit games are essentially waddling heads.

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Waddling head characters


But then I thought about the anatomy that might lead to that sort of body plan, and I realized that only the front half can really be the head. The GI tract has to go somewhere. And limbs placed directly behind a head would be homologous to hands, not feet. So I elongated the creature somewhat, producing something vaguely doglike. Is this cute or ugly?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Looks straight out of Castelian.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:16 pm 
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Ha! I love it! It looks like something straight out of a medieval bestiary.

As for whether it's cute or ugly, I'd say it's a mixture of both, like an enemy in a C64 game. :B

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:33 pm 
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I'd argue that being cute or ugly is more related to the art style than to the anatomy.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:50 pm 
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Front and back: kinda cute;
Side: disturbing, kinda like the legless people;


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:03 pm 
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In my opinion it is OK; is not bad.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:33 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
Front and back: kinda cute;
Side: disturbing, kinda like the legless people;


It's a legless dog, for legless people to have as a legless pet.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:15 am 
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 Is this cute or ugly?

This is a matter of opinion, but I didn't find it cute, actually a bit disturbing, especially the side and back animation frame. It felt the same as legless people.

You should really put feet instead of hands to this creature.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:39 am 
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I considered that. But in order to animate it without excessive cheats, I first need to know how it's rigged up on the inside. Allow me to quote parts of the song "Dem Bones":

  • "The shoulder bone's connected to the neck bone"
    This is the current design, with weight bearing on front limbs.
  • "The hip bone's connected to the back bone"
    This would use feet instead of hands.

Putting in the back bone would put the face higher up on the sprite, like Gurin and Malon from Binary Land.

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Binary Land cover art


In some video games, you can see a character's skeleton when another character deals electric burn damage. One such game is Street Fighter games when Blanka uses the shock move. Another is the first Super Smash Bros. game with Pikachu. In the screenshots, nine out of the twelve characters show a skeleton. Samus shows Zero Suit Samus, and the waddling heads (Kirby and Jigglypuff) don't actually have a skeleton. GamesRadar has compiled a collection of skeletons from Street Fighter and other games.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:47 am 
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Only thing I find odd is there seems to be a shoulder shape on the front and back sprites, but nowhere on the side view. Other than that, unusually interesting design; makes you wonder how its center of gravity would work.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:49 pm 
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I don't think you need to consider the internal body anatomy. Much of the art style in the listed examples relies on the fact that the style itself is a very abstract representation of, say, the waddle dee. As it's never really been expanded upon by HAL laboratories, this exercise is left to the player. Given the NES's restrictions, a lot of the graphics are abstract like this.

However, this is maybe the closest example you're going to find in the real world: Pygmy jerboa


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:39 pm 
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Bregalad wrote:
You should really put feet instead of hands to this creature.

Words of the day: homologous and analogous. Two body parts are "analogous" if they have the same function, such as the flipperlike hind feet of a harbor seal and the tail of a shark. They are "homologous" if they have the same position in the body plan, such as the pectoral fins of a sea bass and the front paws of a dog, or the jaws of a lizard and the hammer and anvil bones in the ears of a human wearing a lizard costume. Thus this creature's feet are analogous to the feet of a chicken but homologous to its wings.

DragonDePlatino wrote:
It looks like something straight out of a medieval bestiary.

Thanks. That's sort of my intent, as an alternate Earth will explore evolutionary pathways that our Earth didn't try.

psycopathicteen wrote:
It's a legless dog, for legless people to have as a legless pet.

That's an interesting take on how I could fit it into the greater world of my games.

ShaneLite wrote:
Only thing I find odd is there seems to be a shoulder shape on the front and back sprites, but nowhere on the side view.

How would you design it to have better definition on where the shoulder is supposed to be? I could add a black/dark arc across the top of the shoulder, which would define the ambient occlusion of a concave dihedral.

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makes you wonder how its center of gravity would work.

Probably as depicted in videos of rescued dogs with similar anatomy, like "Helping Hands" by Mutt Scouts, "Two Legged Dog" by Bruce Causier, Duncan Lou Who, and Bonsai the bulldog, as well as able-bodied dogs that handstand-walk for whatever reason, such as Frankie the pug and Jiff the Pomeranian. (While searching for those videos, I typed in hands dog but got the logo of Klax reinterpreted as a profile of a dog's head.)

mikejmoffitt wrote:
Given the NES's restrictions, a lot of the graphics are abstract like this.

There's abstract, and then there's really abstract. Even chibi characters have skeletons, as Michael Paulus sketched. Yet an upgrade from 256x240 on the NES to 1920x1080 on the Wii U does nothing to clarify what goes on inside Waddle Dee and other 1-head-tall characters.

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However, this is maybe the closest example you're going to find in the real world: Pygmy jerboa

The jerboa, jumping mouse, kangaroo rat, and similar are interesting models for a different species. A bipedal hopper's head would be placed higher because as with birds, there's a backbone between the head and legs. Maybe later if I try making something inspired by Pogo from Nebulus/Castelian.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:14 am 
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tepples wrote:
The GI tract has to go somewhere.

But then one of the ones you chose for picturing isn't even organic (Met hat); and Squeak Squad showed us on the touch-screen that Kirby, at least, only has one end to his digestive system (as well as being a Bag of HoldDevouring) I suspect Waddle Dees to be similar.


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